Sherwood Park, AB. — New in 2024, students looking for unique summer school programming have the opportunity to take a traditional land-based learning course from Next Step. “In this immersive, Indigenous land-based experience, students will increase their cultural confidence, technical and practical skills in understanding settler-colonialism, Indigenous governance, and self-determination,” says Lyndon Suntjens, the teacher facilitating the course at Next Step.

The course runs for four weeks. Students receive up to 10 credits upon completion to use toward their diploma requirements. “Through the guidance of Knowledge Keepers and Elders we will connect Indigenous (Aboriginal) Studies and the Traditional Land-based Learning curriculums through a cross-curricular method that gets students outside learning from the Land. Our primary focus will be in creating a holistic learning environment that attempts to balance students physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually,” adds Suntjens.

Students will learn traditional food gathering and preparation in an outdoor environment; develop environmental stewardship through an Indigenous lens; and acquire knowledge and skills related to wildlife, forestry and construction. They’ll have a chance to demonstrate and reflect on culturally significant protocols.

Next Step is also offering other unique summer programs, including Foundations of Industry Workplace Safety and First Aid Certification with CPR and AED.  “We’re proud to offer more than 40 senior high courses to students in the summer,” says Barclay Spady, the principal at Next Step. “In addition to unique programs, we offer academic courses, health classes, online options and more. Students can attend summer school to earn credits, upgrade marks, lighten workloads or finish needed prerequisite courses.”

EIPS Summer School registration is open now and runs until June 24. To view course offerings and register, visit the Next Step website.


Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,750 students in 42 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.


Next Step: Unique Summer Programming
EIPS: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education



For more information, media can contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902